Thursday, 16 April 2015

He is the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

Third Sunday of Easter (Year B)

This week the emphasis in a little liturgy is the forgiveness of sins.  I have tried to point to the sacrifice of the Mass and the parts of the liturgy where we ask for forgiveness.    

Summary of Liturgy of the Word

First Reading
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Peter tells the people that they disowned the Holy One and killed the Prince of Life.  God, however, raised him from the dead.  They did not know what they were doing but they must now repent and turn to God.

Psalm 4
Lift up the light of your face on us, O lord.

Second Reading
1 John 2:1-5
John says that we need to stop sinning but that if we do sin Jesus Christ is the sacrifice that takes our sins away.  He says not only our sins but "the whole world's".  We must keep God's commandments to show that we know him.

Luke 24:35-48
Jesus appears to the disciples and tries to calm them.  He says "Peace be with you!"  and explains that he is not a ghost.  He shows them his hands and his feet and then eats a piece of fish.  He explains that the scriptures said that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. He also reminds them that the scriptures say that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached.  


All three readings today stress Christ's role in the forgiveness of sin.  St Peter says we must repent, St John says that Christ's sacrifice was for the whole world and Christ himself explains that the scriptures say repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached.  St Peter refers specifically to the sin of rejecting the Messiah.  However, it is not just the people of Jesus' time who reject him.  We too reject him when we do not follow his teaching and when we fail to show love.  Fortunately, God gives us Jesus to make up for our failures and to show us that death does not need to be the end.

Activity during the homily

Jesus' sacrifice takes away our sins.  Every time we go to Mass we join him in that sacrifice and can share in the Resurrection.

After the consecration we say the Lamb of God.  Fill in the words below:

Lamb of _ _ _, you take _ _ _ _  the _ _ _ _ of the_ _ _ _ _ , have _ _ _ _ _  on us.

_ _ _ _  of God_ _ _  take away the sins of the world, _ _ _ _  mercy on _ _ .

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, _ _ _ _ _   us _ _ _ _ _ .  

There is another special prayer where we ask God to forgive our sins.  See if you can write it out here:

key word clues:  trespasses, temptation

Other activities and resources

The Jewish religion has a tradition of sacrificing animals for the forgiveness of sins.  Read more about one example on the link below:  

Scapegoat story

I have just come across a wonderful poem and blog entry that would have been perfect to link to for last week - so here it is.  Better late than never!

Doubting Thomas poem


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